Female teachers who get stressed at work have an associated 21% greater likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, according to researchers.
A French team of experts from the INSERM institute say the increased risk factor is linked to stress hormones which can lead to females putting on weight around their middle.
The study involved more than 70,000 French women, who worked mainly in education and were monitored for about 22 years. Their eating habits were tracked as well as their mental tiredness.
More than 4,000 of the participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, who claimed their work was very mentally tiring. The association between stressful jobs and those who were diagnosed was independent of unhealthy lifestyle and traditional metabolic factors.
Dr Guy Fagherazzi from the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health at Inserm, said: “Although we cannot directly determine what increased diabetes risk in these women, our results indicate it is not due to typical type 2 diabetes risk factors. This finding underscores the importance of considering mental tiredness as a risk factor for diabetes among women.
“Both mentally tiring work and type 2 diabetes are increasingly prevalent phenomena. What we do know is that support in the workplace has a stronger impact on work-related stress in women than men. Therefore, greater support for women in stressful work environments could help to prevent chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes.”
Stress has previously been associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes but being stressed does not need to lead to type 2 diabetes. The risk of developing type 2 can be reduced through eating a healthy real-food diet as recommended on our award-winning Low Carb Program as well as getting regular exercise.
The findings have been published in the European Journal of Endocrinology.